Global certification saves money and time

18.01.2018
“A collector manufacturer can save a lot of time and money because its collector test report from one region will be accepted to receive a certificate in another region,” GSCN Manager Jan Erik Nielsen from Denmark said in an interview with solarthermalworld.org. (Photo: Baerbel Epp)

To enter new markets, solar thermal collector manufacturers need to have their products tested and certified as meeting local standards. Thanks to GSCN, the Global Solar Certification Network, they can complete several certification processes with only one test cycle.

The procedure benefits all industrial members of GSCN. The only thing they have to do is to submit an application to the network and pay an annual fee of EUR 250. For more information about how to join GSCN, please see the attached application guidance.

Certification bodies and testing laboratories can look up the requirements for service offers via GSCN in the attached Working Rules Annex A. In these cases, the annual membership fee is EUR 125. Supporting organisations can become members for only EUR 75.

The network comprises manufacturers, test labs and certification bodies from the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and China. “We are currently approving membership applications by test and certification bodies from these regions,” Nielsen said. These candidates will only become members if they accept lab reports from selected other regions. GSCN discusses mutual recognition with each one of those test labs and certification bodies and is confident that most applications will be processed within the first three months of 2018.

The network’s invitation extends to manufacturers of many types of collectors. “All collectors which are within the scope of the ISO 9806 standard for collector testing, such as flat plate, air, vacuum tube, uncovered and concentrating collectors, are potential candidates for easier certification,” said Nielsen. The GSCN website explains the procedures for accepting test reports submitted by manufacturing members as follows:

  • A GSCN manufacturer that has already received a certificate from a certification body member of the network applies directly to the “new” certification body (also a member of GSCN) which issues the certificate the manufacturer wants next for its product(s).
  • The manufacturer shows the existing certificate to the "new" certification body and asks the test lab and inspection body which did the testing and inspection to provide both reports to the "new" certification body. Test lab and inspection facility must be recognised by the “old” as well as the “new” certification body.
  • The “new” certification body lets the manufacturer know if any additional testing or inspection is to be done.
  • If no more testing is required – or when additional tests have been completed – the manufacturer will be granted a licence to label his product with the “new” certificate. Fees to involved test labs / inspectors might apply, but these fees will be much lower than the costs of re-testing.

The next GSCN meeting will take place in Spain’s capital, Madrid, on 7 March 2018. GSCN Chairman Dr Harald Drück from the Research and Testing Centre for Thermal Solar Systems at Stuttgart University is inviting solar manufacturers, test laboratories and certification bodies from all corners of the globe to attend the meeting.

Baerbel Epp (solarthermalworld.org)

Similar Entries

DNV GL published its fourth annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard report. This year’s report finds that the reliability and durability of modules submitted to DNV GL for testing for the 2018 PV Module Reliability Scorecard generally improved in several of the test categories. However, in one of the test categories, damp heat, performance decreased. With 22% of manufacturers experiencing at least one failure in overall testing, buyers being conscious of the specific Bill of Materials (BOM) that identify specific models as Top Performers is crucial.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) ("JinkoSolar"), a global leader in the photovoltaic (PV) industry announced today that it has been awarded the Cradle-to-Cradle (“C2C”) certificate by SGS, the world’s leading testing, inspection, verification, and certification organization. This is the first time a C2C certificate has been issued in China. The issuance of the C2C certification represents the adherence to high environmental, health, and safety standard by JinkoSolar’s products and manufacturing processes, further affirming JinkoSolar’s efforts in promoting environmental and sustainable best practices within the solar industry.

The ranking chart is based on a survey of manufacturers between January and February this year. (Source: data supplied by manufacturers)

The annual ranking of the world's largest flat plate collector manufacturers is now published on solarthermalworld.org. It based on a survey among the largest industry players carried out by solrico agency. The 2017 ranking clearly shows the market dominance of Chinese companies.

TÜV Rheinland has successfully completed two new site suitability assessment projects on behalf of Siemens Gamesa. One project assessed the suitability of 2.0/2.1 MW type G114 wind turbines for a wind farm in the USA, the other the suitability of the 2.65 MW version for a wind farm in North Africa.